Workshop Descriptions

Our Saturday Spring Breakdown workshops have something for everyone, including musicians, families, and dance beginners as well as experienced dancers!

COMMUNITY DANCES: Contra dances are generally thought of as being for adult dancers and teens. Although anyone is welcome to join in, some of the figures just aren’t suited for younger and older dancers. This workshop is intended to include all dancers of all ages and abilities. Instruction will be short, but thorough enough to get anyone started dancing in 5 minutes or less. Bring the family and we’ll all have fun. Recommended for ages 7 and up. With Jim Thaxter calling and music by Amber Gaddy and David Cavins.  Saturday, 10:30-noon. *

Amber Gaddy and David Cavins will provide music for the Community Dances and Clogging workshops. Amber on accordion, David on guitar. Photo by Thomas Grant Richardson

FLAT FOOT CLOGGING: Built around a simple chug and the walking step, this style aims to add rhythm to old-time music and is accessible to everyone.  Claire will teach you the simple steps that you can combine and alternate to match the musical phrase. “Dancing underneath oneself, ‘trapping’ the notes of the tune on the floor”.  If you have them, wear hard-soled shoes that are not rubber, so that they slide on the floor when you dance. With Claire Zucker (of STEAM!)  and music by Amber Gaddy and David Cavins. 
Saturday, 1:30-2:45 pm. Claire clogging with STEAM!

Watch jamming with STEAM!

PLAYING FOR CONTRA DANCES, Being Prepared to Have Fun! Bring your instruments! We will start by focusing on the rhythm section, creating a groove, and choosing tempos. What tunes work for dances? We will discuss creating medleys, transitions, and fitting tunes to dances. We will explore how to arrange a set of tunes to excite dancers. As a dance band, you need to work with the sound crew and the caller, so we will talk about efficient ways to communicate what you need and to understand what they need. With STEAM! Saturday, 1:30-2:45 pm. (Capital Ritz Annex) *

INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE: In this workshop we will fit in as many simple but fun dances as possible, beginning with Greek and other Balkan line dances most likely to be seen at local Orthodox church festivals or in international folk dance groups. Depending on time and interest we will introduce a couple of dances from western Europe and Ireland, for couples or sets.  With Judy Stein. Saturday, 1:30-2:45 pm.

CREATIVE CONTRAS: This contra dance workshop will feature contra dances with unusual formations and movements.  Bring your thinking caps and be prepared to have fun. With Jim Hemphill calling and music by STEAM!  Saturday, 3:00-4:45 pm.

*This event is supported in part by the Mary Kay Friday Fund of the Country Dance and Song Society.

Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.